THANK YOU for your response! Your kindness in starting this forum and continuing to be active on it is overwhelming and touches us all. You allow us to feel that, at least, one person in the world understands. The encouragement we gain here is powerful. I pray that God will give you and your family the same powerful encouragement and that you will not be weighed down by all our constant questioning.
ALREADY HAD XRAYS/MRI
Between the first message (Dec 2022) and the second reminder (Mar 2023), I did have cervical x-rays (including flexion/extension) and an MRI (that’s how we found the fat infiltration). I have not had a CT scan. Results were compared to imaging taken pre- and post- surgery.
XRAY/MRI RESULTS SUMMARIZED
+ According to my neurosurgeon and the reports, fusion at all 4 levels and alignment of cage is still perfect and intact.
+ Lordosis is good, considering.
+ There is no longer impingement of the nerve compared with before surgery.
+ Degeneration at all cervical levels has not changed significantly since surgery.
[FYI – I typed my levels incorrectly before – my fusion is C3-C7. Tried to edit but no option.]
My surgeon did tell me that the levels above and below would eventually degenerate, but I don’t think that would happen within 7 months, especially since I’m not able to do many of the activities I did before (including work).
Q1. I am a small-framed 5’1” 110 lb female. Do you think that maybe my muscles were just not strong enough to handle the change in biomechanics of a 4-level fusion?
Q2. My physical therapist said that my cervical muscles were very marbled with fat, so much so that it would be difficult to believe it occurred recently. He also mentioned that fat infiltration is often seen in Chronic Pain patients (of which I am one – Chronic Migraine, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Bruxism, Major Depressive Disorder, DDD, etc). In your experience, have you seen a significant difference in % Recovery from ACDF between chronic pain patients and non-chronic pain patients?